Gay Weddings Survey: A Fifth Of Britons Would Not Attend Same-Sex Marriage

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28th March 2014 14:57 - Central Government

New legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry comes into force this weekend, but research from BBC Radio 5 Live suggests that one in five Britons would not attend a gay wedding.

The legislation has been backed by leaders of the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties, and while the majority of the 1,007 British adults polled by ComRes (69%) agreed that gay marriage should be allowed – just a quarter (26%) opposed it.

Although the general consensus (69%) among respondents was that same-sex marriage should be allowed, just over a fifth (22%) of Britons (29% male and 16% female) said they would not attend such a marriage.

The research found that younger people were more likely to support same-sex marriage, with four-fifths (80%) of 18 to 34 year-olds backing it. This figure dropped to under half (44%) among the over 65s polled.

Women were more likely to support gay marriage than men, with three-quarters (75%) in favour, compared with three-fifths (61%) of men.

Among respondents, three-fifths (59%) agreed a person should not be considered homophobic for opposing the legislation permitting gay marriage.

Ruth Hunt, the Acting Chief Executive, for lesbian, gay and bisexual charity, Stonewall, said:

"The first same-sex weddings are a landmark moment in Britain and we’re delighted that so many people will be celebrating with happy couples up and down the country.”

"These marriages will send a powerful signal to every young person growing up to be lesbian, gay or bisexual. You can be who you are, love who you love and achieve anything you want - regardless of your sexual orientation."

However Catholic Voices, which represents the Catholic Church, said the findings of the survey reflected the reality that people remained "deeply uncomfortable" with being honest about their true feelings on the meaning of marriage.

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